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Broken Engine Ear Blues

Posted by Slow old poop, Apr 16, 2007

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  1. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Two weeks ago, we did a test n tune at Midamerica Motorplex (MAM) in Council Bluffs. As usual, Mr Never on Sunday (so-named because it never makes it to the Sunday half of a two-day weekend track event) ran strong but broke. Our winter work of fixing boost leaks and running new intercooler pipe paid off, because it was pulling a solid 20 psi all day. The new fat Stoptech rotors and widened calipers seemed to work OK. It was so bitterly cold (19F ) that we didn't even try the new 245 Hoosiers, just slithered around on the old Toyos on the icy track.

    Then it broke again, as Mr Never on Sunday is wont to do.

    As you may or may not recall, last year we broke the ear off the engine in front, where the tranny mounts. We took it to AMS in Chicago who welded it all back together, but warned us that it may or may not last. It didn't.

    At MAM, I detected the telltale signs of a broken ear: it doesn't want to shift into 4th, third gear downshifts are grindy, and shifting gets harder and harder. When we blew off the wastegate, it was time to trailer the car home. Good thing, too, because if we had run the car much longer, the tranny might have slipped like it did last year, and broken more stuff, like it did last year.

    With the first NASA event looming at Iowa Speedway, our choices appeared to be:

    1. Weld it back on and try again.
    2. Get another six-bolt short block, machine it, and transfer all the 2.3 stroker parts to it.

    My buddy Brent, ace fabricator, decided there was a third option: Bolt the transmission to the front motor mount!!

    Brent, you gotta be crazy! Nobody in the DSM world, including AMS, has ever done anything like that. (Well, not that we ever heard of, that is.) Here's what Brent the Fabricator came up with this weekend:

    Photo 1
    First thing he did was knock out the locating pin from the broken engine piece (right piece in both photos), welded it to a steel rod with a backing plate, then drilled and tapped the rod (left piece in both photos).

    Photo 2
    Then he tacked it into place onto the front motor mount for position.

    Photo 3
    Here's what it looks like, welded to the front engine mount

    Photo 4
    Brent decided that wasn't strong enough, so he welded gusset plates on two sides

    Photo 5
    Here's the finished motor mount/transmission mount, painted. The little curvy section on the left fits into the broken part of the engine block. It took HOURS and HOURS to grind this part so it fits perfectly to the motor and the motor mount.

    We'll find out in two weeks if it works.

    We've had so much trouble getting the car on the road, we haven't even weighed it yet, much less get it dynoed. So I have no idea what NASA class it will be in. Without weighing and dynoing, I think they'll stick me into some upper class, like TTU or TTR. I just want to get Mr. Never on Sunday back on the track, so I don't care what class it's in.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. eclipsh

    eclipsh Proven Member

    1,606
    53
    Joined Jun 16, 2005
    Durango, Colorado
    That is terrible to hear about but nice work around :) It is good to have creative friends who can build stuff. Good luck with the next big weekend!
     
    eclipsh

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  3. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    I would not be able to race the car wihout my buddies Brent, Jon, Mike and, lately, Dan. All are mechanical geniuses, understand the car, and like to go to the track. Me, I'm just the dumb driver who keeps breaking Mr Never on Sunday. I don't know why they put up with me. Maybe it's the beer.
     
  4. eclipsh

    eclipsh Proven Member

    1,606
    53
    Joined Jun 16, 2005
    Durango, Colorado
    Mmmm... beer. I hope it is at least good stuff, not the yellow mass production swill ;) (We in Durango are mostly beer snobs and drink micro brew.)
     
    eclipsh

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  5. Elvenhome21

    Elvenhome21 Proven Member

    625
    5
    Joined Oct 21, 2006
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin
    Thats a really cool idea, looks legit and reallly strong to.
     

    391  0

    1991 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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  6. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Some day, I will smack something very hard, roll the Eclipse up into a ball of blue metal, and the only part that will survive will be that motor mount.
     
  7. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    We blew off the wastegate two weeks ago. Apparently, the four studs holding it on vibrated loose (you can see one of the old studs in the lower left). So Brent decided that it was time to safety wire yet another part onto the car. I went down to the local nuts n bolts shop, bought four Grade 8 studs and nuts, and Brent cut off the heads, drilled them for safety wire, and cut the nuts so they became Castle nuts (see photo). Anybody who has futzed around with a wastegate probably knows that it has the the hardest, most inaccessible nuts on the whole car, yet Brent managed to not only get them on there and tighten them, he safety wired them.

    There is a lesson here: If you take out the balance shafts and run poly motor mounts, everything on the car will vibrate off. So safety wire them BEFORE you put the car back together, especially the wastegate.

    Brent is an absolutely amazing fabricator with inifinite patience. I don't know what I'd do without him. He refuses to take any payment other than beer and ribs, so I am buying him a full set of metric taps. (It's for our team you see, but Brent gets to keep them).

    There's another lesson there for aspiring racers. Instead of buying stuff like Helicoils and taps piece by piece as you need them, buy whole sets from the gitgo, because you'll need them all eventually.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. drivemusicnow

    drivemusicnow Proven Member

    1,444
    28
    Joined Nov 15, 2004
    Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    ... What wastegate do you have and where is it mounted? I'm assuming that you just have the 38mm tial, but i'm confused as to where it was mounted, and how it blew off.

    I really wish they made a super super high temp locktite for things like that. The ultra tough red stuff works great on most things, but heat loosens it right up.

    and kudos to Brent... Safety wiring things is a PITA.
     

    861  0

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 1G DSM
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  9. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    It's an external wastegate, mounted behind the turbo. It dumps in front of the fans. Noisy lil bugger, too. It blew off because the four mounting studs vibrated loose.
     
  10. underradar92

    underradar92 Proven Member

    1,002
    16
    Joined Oct 19, 2005
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    And hopefully the driver and the now non-bent passenger. How does the cage look, or do I have to wait 'till NASA is at R.A. to see it?

    Good work Brent, et al. :thumb:
     

    1K  2

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    326.7 whp · 273.9 lb/ft · 1G DSM
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  11. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    It works great. If you don't come down here to run something, you'll have to wait for me to come up there before you see it.
     
  12. drivemusicnow

    drivemusicnow Proven Member

    1,444
    28
    Joined Nov 15, 2004
    Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    So, what exhaust manifold are you running? And how exactly is the wastegate mounted?

    I'm just wondering because I really don't want to have to safety wire things (I don't have a drill press to make it easy) and was wondering exactly how yours was setup.

    I think I've read most of your posts, but I can't seem to remember much about your specific setup other than 2.3L AMS stroker, 20g, and AEM.. but I don't know of much else. Have you posted an all out setup anywhere?
     

    861  0

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 1G DSM
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  13. Elvenhome21

    Elvenhome21 Proven Member

    625
    5
    Joined Oct 21, 2006
    Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    391  0

    1991 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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  14. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    This is the second time I replied to this post. Wonder where the first one went?

    Stock manifold. Wastegate bolts to the back of the turbo housing.

    Mods:

    2.3 AMS stroker
    P&P heads
    660 injectors
    ARP studs
    Apexi (soon to be DSMLink)
    20G Frank turbo
    3 in downpipe and exhaust, no cat
    Dejon intake
    FMIC
    Big radiator
    oil cooler
    Big Stoptech brakes
    Ground Control suspension
    Adjustable Konis
    Camber plates
    Strut bars, front and rear
    Full cage
    Kirkey seats
    9x17 wheels with 245x17 Hoosiers
    8x17 wheels with 235/17 Toyo Proxes

    Available after this season
     
  15. drivemusicnow

    drivemusicnow Proven Member

    1,444
    28
    Joined Nov 15, 2004
    Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    You're selling it off after this season? Any particular reason?
     

    861  0

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  16. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Gonna retire from active racing. Not the sport, mind you, but from campaigning a car on a semi-serious level.

    By the time I sell it, all the bugs should be out and maybe it will be a national champion in its class (whatever that turns out to be).
     
  17. Lofty

    Lofty Moderator

    4,251
    32
    Joined Jul 27, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Okay, I'm updating this thread because this has happened to me on ALL of my dsms.
    1st of all. These are the easy way out. You need to have your ear re welded up with nickel. These "fixes" do not include a spot for the dowel. Which is ABSOLUTELY necessary. You will unspring a new clutch very shortly with these "fixes".
    The ONLY way to fix this properly is to get it welded. Talk to a trans expert about how important the dowels are
    Sorry to be a buzzkill. But if you want your car to last and redeem our name for having "Unreliable cars" please fix it right, and take it to a welder.
     

    950  0

    1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
    manual · Galant VR-4
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  18. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    We had lots of trouble with Mr Never on Sunday, but no problems with the clutch. AMS dyno tuned it to 355 hp at 6000 rpm (redline at 6500 because of the stroker motor) to make the NASA TTA class and we ran a full season on that engine/transmission mount. We did have one recurring problem that may or may not be related: Everything on the car vibrated, and any bolt that was not safety wired would come loose--including the transmission bolts. After every 20 minute session, we had to go over the car and re-tighten everything.

    (We even SHEARED OFF an intake manifold bolt at Iowa Speeway up on the high banks (incredible g forces up there). Two years later, and we are still scratching our heads over that one. HTF do you shear off an intake manifold bolt? But I digress.)

    Maybe what you say is true for dragstrip cars, but the mount held up for road racing. There were no burnouts or launches, and only a few excursions up to 8,000 rpm by mistake, in the heat of the moment.
     
  19. underradar92

    underradar92 Proven Member

    1,002
    16
    Joined Oct 19, 2005
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Scott, the dowel sleeve appears to be included on Poops/Brents bracket. And I can second for sure, Rich had no related (to that particular fix :p) problems with the car. Brent does some nice work.
     

    1K  2

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    326.7 whp · 273.9 lb/ft · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  20. endeffect0

    endeffect0 Proven Member

    544
    2
    Joined Sep 19, 2006
    Lancaster Area, Pennsylvania
    Boy have i learned that lesson the hard way. this past summer i helped to build a twin turbine powered racing boat. spent about a week on that job just doing the safety wire. You get pretty nifty with that stuff after some practice. beauty of that job was it had the budget for all mill spec and aero grade parts. so no putsing around trying to make the safety wire work.

    Recently i have been fighting to keep my turbo and exhaust from disassembling it self. all the manifold bolts, manifold to turbo, turbo to down pipe... ect. all of them keep backing out. rather than drill them all for wire i just ended up putting 1 very light tac weld on each bolt. you can break them loose with a ratchet (the ones i have tried any way). none have attempted to back out yet and i dont tear the engine bay down often so it has yet to cause and problems.

    not as elegent of a solution as yours.. but either way i feel your pain on that one.
     
  21. Slow old poop

    Slow old poop Proven Member

    707
    7
    Joined Jul 24, 2005
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    I think the real lesson here is that Eclipse and Talon motors are tired iron. Most have been disassembled and reassembled so many times that the fasteners and threads are plumb wore out. Fatigue also sets in, which may account for why so many ears break off motors.

    When you try to pull 400 hp out of tired iron, things break, come loose, and the electrical system goes haywire. If somebody would either build new blocks or figure out a way to use a newer motor--like an Evo--Eclipses and Talons could continue to race successfully. Until then, anyone who tries to road race tired iron will have as many problems as I did.

    As for me, I gave up the Eclipse battle and bought an M3. Haven't had to turn a wrench yet. Sure miss the Eclipse's power, though. That was one screamin' sumbitch.
     

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